Journal of the American Dental Association spotlights poverty

Nov. 5, 2007
International journal theme issue discusses poverty's effect on oral health.

CHICAGO--The Journal of the American Dental Association joins 234 other international scientific journals today in publishing a global theme issue on poverty and human development, an unprecedented collaborative effort among the world's biomedical publications.

The Council of Science Editors organized the theme issue, which involves simultaneous publication by science journals throughout the world of articles on poverty's devastating effect on health.

As part of this effort, JADA today is publishing online four articles by researchers internationally respected for their work in the area of increasing disadvantaged populations' access to health care. Several of the authors also are members of JADA's domestic and international editorial boards.

The articles, which also will appear in JADA's November print edition, are:

* an editorial, "Poverty and Human Development: A Challenge for Us All," by JADA Editor Michael Glick, DMD

* "Poverty, Oral Health and Human Development: Contemporary Issues Affecting the Provision of Primary Oral Health Care" by Martin H. Hobdell, BDS, PhD

* "Health, Oral Health and Poverty" by Harold D. Sgan-Cohen, DMD, MPH, and Jonathan Mann, DMD, MSc

* "The Effect of Poverty on Access to Oral Health Care" by Javier de la Fuente-Hernández, DDS, MSc, and A. Enrique Acosta-Gío, DDS, PhD

* "Global Health Research for America's Vital Interest" by Lois K. Cohen, PhD

Glick, JADA editor, said that The Journal is proud to be one of the participating publications, especially as the global theme issue underscores the important role oral health plays in general well-being.

"It is undisputed that oral health is part of overall health," Dr. Glick wrote in his editorial. "However, attention to oral health from a public health perspective always takes second place to general health. The rationale for this discrepancy could be that oral diseases are not recognized as being associated with a high mortality rate. Yet, among patients with chronic conditions--HIV disease, for example--access to oral health care is always at the top of the list of desired but lacking services.

"To say that there is nothing we can do as individuals is to shirk our responsibilities to the less fortunate," Dr. Glick continued. "As private practitioners, academicians, researchers or policymakers, we can make a difference."

For more information about the ADA, visit the Association's Web site at American Dental Association.